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OPINION: Conference was eye opening


Assistant Sports Editor Andrew Surma

Sitting in the hotel lobby of the Sheraton Hotel at 53rd street and 7th avenue, a few blocks from Times Square, I told my mom over the phone I needed more money.

“Andrew, you already blew through $300 in three days?” she asked.

She had given me $300 out of my tax return to spend in New York while I attended the College Media Association Spring Convention with some of my fellow CM Life staff members.

When I graduated high school, my parents weren’t convinced with my life path — mostly because I didn’t have one.

I’ve had these phone calls with my mom before: “Hey mom, I need you to transfer some money into my account.” It was a classic argument-starter between my parents and I. They knew where that money was being spent and it wasn’t going in the gas tank.

But this time, when I confessed my financial situation to her, I got a different response.

Instead of anger and accusation, my mom simply said “You need to be smarter with your money. I’ll transfer $125 from your savings.”

As I watched the crowds of people walk the skyscrapper-lined streets of Manhattan, I realized my mom is proud of the path I’ve carved out so far in life.

I wasn’t winning any awards. The convention wasn’t extremely informative. But I was there trying to become better at my craft and my parents were proud of that.

I chose to be a journalist after a freshman year of indecision, a 2.9 GPA and a few good party stories.

The decision to become a journalist and join CM Life changed my life in the sense that it not only gave me opportunities to travel, meet deans of colleges, Division I head coaches, Miss Michigan and other public figures, but it has given me an identity, voice, friendships and something to constantly drive me to become a better person.

My mom realizes this, so she wasn’t terribly mad about giving me the extra $125. She didn’t feel guilty for funding me because she knew she wasn’t funding my debauchery anymore, but rather the beginnings of my career.

Going to a college media convention in New York was a great experience, regardless if the convention itself was or wasn’t overwhelmingly beneficial.

The convention is by no means the pinnacle of success — it’s not even close to that — but it is a marker of how far I’ve come since I was an 18-year old kid without a clue in the world of what I wanted to be or who I was.


About Andrew Surma

Central Michigan Life Sports Editor

Central Michigan Life Editor in Chief (Summer 2016)

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